Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Accountability

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

NEW POLL: Overwhelming majority of New Zealanders think debt is too high

A new Taxpayers’ Union – Curia poll has revealed that a large majority of New Zealanders think government debt is too high.

Voters were asked: “In June 2017, New Zealand’s Net Core Crown Debt was $59 billion. Between then and June 2023, while the cumulative inflation was 25%, Net Core Crown Debt increased by 161% to $155 billion. Do you think that the level of New Zealand government debt is too low, about right, or too high.”

64% of respondents thought that government debt was too high, 19% thought it was about right while just 3% thought it was too low. The remaining 14% of respondents were unsure.
The full polling report can be found here.
Commenting on the poll, Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, said:

“By 2028, we will be spending more than $6,000 per household on Government debt interest costs alone. That’s more than we currently spend on early childhood education, and primary and secondary schools combined.

“The results of this poll show that New Zealanders realise this debt is completely unsustainable and that the billions of dollars poured down the drain in interest payments is money that can’t be spent on providing core frontline services or delivering well-overdue tax relief.

“The only real tax cut is a spending cut and anything else is simply pushing higher taxes into the future. Nicola Willis needs to take tougher action to get the Government books back into the black faster and to start paying down the debt as soon as possible.


Any media or other organisation that reports on this poll should include the following summary statement:

The poll was conducted by Curia Market Research Ltd for the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. It is a random poll of 1,000 adult New Zealanders and is weighted to the overall adult population. It was conducted by phone (landlines and mobile) and online between the 05 May and 07 May 2024, has a maximum margin of error of +/- 3.1% and 4.2% were undecided on the party vote question. The full results are at: www.taxpayers.org.nz/debtpoll   


The scientific poll was conducted by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. As is well known, but for full disclosure, David Farrar co-founded the Taxpayers' Union and previously served on its board. He is also a Director of Curia Market Research Ltd.
This Taxpayers’ Union – Curia issue poll was conducted from Sunday 05 May to Tuesday 07 May 2024. The median response was collected on Monday 07 May 2024. The sample size was 1,000 eligible New Zealand voters: 800 by phone and 200 by online panel. The sample selection for the phone panel is from those who are contactable on a landline or mobile phone selected at random from 15,000 nationwide phone numbers plus a random selection from an online panel (that complies with ESOMAR guidelines for online research). The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult population in terms of gender, age, and area. Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.1%, at the 95% confidence level. Results for sub-groups such as age and area will have a much higher margin of error and not seen as precise.

Showing 1 reaction

  • Connor Molloy
    published this page in News 2024-05-21 13:08:19 +1200

Join Us

Joining the Taxpayers' Union costs only $25 and entitles you to attend our annual conference, AGM and other events.


With your support we can make the Taxpayers' Union a strong voice exposing waste and standing up for Kiwi taxpayers.

Tip Line

Often the best information comes from those inside the public service or local government. We guarantee your anonymity and your privacy.